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'He was trying to kill': Man recalls being targeted in alleged hate crime near Macon Walmart

Jerome Alexander says a man used a racial slur against him, fired shots, then chased him and two friends.

MACON, Ga. — A Macon man says doing good deed nearly took a deadly turn. 

Jerome Alexander says a man used a racial slur against him, fired shots, then chased him and two friends. It ended in a Walmart parking lot, the same one where a man was killed four days earlier.

Jerome Alexander says he was in a church parking lot on Wilson Road where he was helping someone with car problems, when a man approached him and the unexpected happened.

"Meanwhile, as I'm jumping the car off, a car pulled down the street, a truck and some white guy, he said, ‘Y’all n--- stop stealing my copper,’" he explained. 

Alexander says he wasn't stealing anything, but that the man went to his truck and got a shotgun. 

What came next, he wasn't prepared for.

"That’s when we heard gunshots. I don't know if it was a warning shot but it was coming past our heads, and I felt like since I’m tall and he was shooting at my head, that means he was trying to kill," he said.

He says once the shooting started, he and two other men jumped in the car and sped away.

The chase lasted almost a mile-and-a half, ending in a Walmart parking lot on Harrison Road.

"I jump in the driver’s seat, pull off. One of them hollers at me, 'Oh, man, I think I’m hit,' after we fired back. We fired back, too, you know what I’m saying?" he recalled. 

He believes it was a hate crime and that he was racially targeted. He also thinks it was mistaken identity and the shooter may have confused him with the man he was helping.

"I feel like either him, the old school dude was the one stealing the copper and he just came and got us for his protection or something like that. I really don't know," he said. 

Alexander says he realizes now how dangerous the situation really could have been.

"Other cars, other kids in traffic, Walmart parking lot. It wasn't just us out there, it was other people, too. That'll be 20-something aggravated assaults from what I know," he said.

Alexander says at least one bullet hit the car, which is currently in a crime lab. The Bibb County Sheriff's Office says they've turned the case over to the district attorney's office. They’ll decide if any of the people involved should be charged, but they say they're not investigating the incident as a hate crime.

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